Austrian Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH)
The majority of foreign owned companies in Austria are GmbH companies. Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung translates to “company with limited liability” and, like limited companies in the UK, a GmbH is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from the individuals who run it. For sole traders and for people in partnerships, the individuals’ personal assets are at risk if there is a claim against the organisation but shareholders in a GmbH are liable to lose only the value of the share capital to which they subscribe.
An Austrian GmbH is legally exempt from dividends tax received from a foreign subsidiary and also reduces the tax burden on shareholders by providing access to the large network of double taxation treaties Austria has signed with other nations across the world.
Company names must end with GmbH; we can conduct a company name check to clarify if your chosen name is available and your new company name can be reserved free of charge for 10 days. Certain words, such as ‘Austria’ are controlled and require permission from the Commercial Register to use.
Austrian companies are required to have a registered office, which must be a physical address in Austria where all official company documents and correspondence may be sent. We will provide a registered address as part of our incorporation service.
Only a single director is required with no restrictions on the director’s nationality or residency.
Only one shareholder is required and this may be the company director. Corporate shareholders are allowed.
Minimum share capital for a GmbH is EUR 35,000. At least 50% of the share capital must be fully paid up before incorporation and a bank certificate confirming this status is required upon incorporation.
Filing of annual financial statements is required for all Austrian companies, with the size of the company determines the level of detail required in these statements. Company turnover, assets and the number of employees together determine whether a company is ‘Small’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Large’; a statutory is required for medium or large companies. Annual returns are mandatory for all companies.
It takes a maximum of two weeks to incorporate a GmbH company in Austria.